The temptation of the little white lie!

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The other day I was asked by a close friend to help her update her resume. She wanted me to help her ‘beautify’ her CV. So we commenced on the otherwise straightforward task.

We began with the percentages and CGPAs which were easy to get done with. Then came the tricky task, she wanted me to help her key in some additional bullet points under her job description. Upon further questioning I realized, she didn’t really know much about what she was asking me to incorporate. Upon further probing, I figured out she just wanted me to put them there to increase her job description’s scope. She really didn’t handle any of what she wanted me to put in writing. Upon explaining to her that this could land her into trouble, she laughed it off, saying – No one really checks the minute details.

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I was shell shocked! Here was someone whom I knew very closely and she had the audacity to fib and lie on her resume. Over and above that, she totally refuted my fears of her getting into trouble owing to this.

Here was a smart, educated, independent individual falsifying/ beautifying her resume, in short, outright lying on her resume. Where’s the line between a harmless white lie and serious falsehood? Is it OK to lie on your resume? Is it OK to falsify a few facts here and there?

The answer has been and will always be – NO!

Lying at the most, may get you a job, but tomorrow when detailed verification is undertaken, you will surely land yourself in a big mess. So think again! Desperate times do call for desperate measures but not this way. These fibs are potential causes for an employer to show you the door; even months or years after you have been hired. Please make note almost every hiring manager has found a lie on a resume and discarded the application.

According to a survey by Career Builder, 50% of resumes contain lies. These lies are exaggerations, embellishing skills, lying about work experiences and fibbing about hobbies and interests.

Mentioned below are the top resume lies:-

• Stretching dates of employment period
• Inflating skills and accomplishments
• Enhancing titles and designations
• Fabricating degrees and exaggerating educational credentials
• Providing false references
• Giving a false address to avoid detection of criminal history
• Employment gaps

Recently a survey was conducted wherein they spoke to 3,587 participants who were looking for employment. Here are the results of the survey:-

• 96% admitted to lying on their resume
• 83% said they still got the job
• 43% stated that their lie directly contributed to them bagging the role.
• 96% of CV liars said they would do it again
• 37% revealing they would be prepared to tell a “big lie” to get their dream job.

For the employers
Please invest in extensive background verification checks to combat the above mentioned pests! We need to weed out these unwanted pests/weeds from our workplaces. Verify every credential in the resume before hiring – Employment, Education, Reference, Address, Criminal history and IDs. These fraudsters feed on our ignorance and short sightedness. Please make note there are close to 7,500 companies in India (ballpark figure), which operate just for providing fake employment certificates and educational certificates. So please grill every applicant during the interview process and assign the verification to a trusted competent third party vendor who is a specialist in employee verification. Remember the cost of a ‘bad hire’ is five times the employee’s annual salary!

For applicants
First impressions do matter, especially for job applicants however trying to catch your interviewer’s attention with a lie is like digging your own grave. If you want to build a powerful resume focus on your actual achievements and accomplishments; if you have none, go get them! Invest your time and money in pursuing courses/diplomas and degrees! Purchasing degrees/diplomas will get you nowhere. In case you’ve landed a job, don’t be pleased with yourself; it’s just a matter of time, your game’s going to be busted!

A lie is a lie, white or not!

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